Posts Tagged ‘letterpress’

Have you ever received an invitation that arrived on the most sumptuous textured paper with letters that seemed to leap off the page begging for your return reply? Well, if so, then you have no doubt been enchanted by a delightfully delicious letterpress invitation.

Letterpress is a classic art of printing in which a pattern is (usually) inked and pressed into the surface of the paper. Letterpress is experiencing a revival in our highly digitized world and I, for one, am excited about the comeback.

If you’re shopping around for invites and want a classic, handcrafted feel then letterpress is definitely a wonderful choice. When visiting the invitationer, you’re likely to hear a few terms tossed about. Don’t be intimidated, we’ll break them down here…

Debossing is when the design is pressed into the paper. Typically ink is not added to the impression so it’s great for a graphic element to accent your information.

The easiest way to think of it is if you were riding along in the car and drove over a pothole. The wheel of the car is forced downward in order to fill the empty space created by the pothole. If the street were an invitation, the pothole would be the debossed accent. In the invitation on the left, you’ll notice that the letters and date dip down into the paper, that’s a sure-fire giveaway that the paper is debossed.

Now, let’s move along and onto another road. We turn down a residential street and notice that they’ve included speed bumps so that we don’t speed down the block. (Children must live on this street.) If this street were an invitation, then it would be embossed because the wheel is pushed up in order to accommodate the disturbance in the road.

The traditional letterpress invitations usually will not have ink added to the impression but the more modern styles will be accented with an ink color. Either way is fine, there’s no rule of thumb here. It all depends on what flavor you want to add to your special event. Brighter colors create a fun, relaxed tone while darker colors or creams suggest a more formal event. Hope this helps!

Have you got a burning craft question? Feel free to leave a comment and we’ll include it in the next “What Is That?” series of posts.

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